Saturday, June 30, 2007

Olive Kids Placemats!

5 Minutes For Mom's next contest is up. This time it is for 6 very cute personalized place mats from Olive Kids. Go check it out and sign up!

I know my 4 year old would just love this dinosaur one!

Light Gives Heat

This song always makes me want to cry, but after watching the video, I was really bawling. The words are so pointed, and yet so true. It is a travesty that this goes on in other countries.

Catch the rain empty hands
Save the children from their lands
Wash the darkness from their skin
Heroes from the west
We don't know you, we know best
This is not a test

You treat me like I'm blind
Setting fires around houses on the hill
But light gives heat
You segregate my mind
Burning crosses from your fears
The light gives heat

It's not the way to light their way
Boys in holes in empty fields
Oh, how good it feels
Lower-class, and understate
Empty promise, empty plate

You treat me like I'm blind
Setting fires around houses on the hill
Light gives heat
You segregate my mind
Burning crosses from your fears, your fears
But light gives heat, gives heat

You treat me like I'm blind
Setting fires around houses on the hill
Light gives heat
You segregate my mind
Burning crosses from your fears
But light gives heat

Will you teach us how to love?
To see the things you see
Walk the road you walked
Feel the pain that you feel
At your feet I kneel,
I want to see you shine
See your light not mine
'Cause light gives heat
Your light gives heat

Designing Diva Contest!

Head on over to 5 Minutes For Mom's next contest, to enter to win a piece of jewelry from Designing Diva.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Casting Crowns - Does Anybody Hear Her?

She is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction
She is trying
But the canyon's ever widening
In the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She's another two years older
And she's three more steps behind

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she's going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she's going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

If judgment looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can't see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her

If judgment looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can't see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her

Never even met her

Does anybody hear her? Does anybody see?
Or does anybody even knows she's going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me

Does anybody hear her? Does anybody see?
Does anybody even know she's going down today?
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Does anybody see?

He is running a hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction

Christian Music

The last 8 or so years, one of the driving themes of our praise and worship music has been to remove the "I" factor. Songs that are more selfish than praise and worship. You know, the songs that talk more about how "I" want to praise God, than about actually praising Him.

As I sat listening to the radio recently, I started to realize why certain songs created a negative emotion in me.

(Now, bear in mind, my version of listening to the radio consists of a background chorus of "Stop touching me! He's hitting me! I have to go to the bathroom! Bababa, Gagaga, (insert raspberry here)! Oh no, I dropped my book out the window! and so on). However, I occasionally get a few late-night trips to the grocery store when there aren't any kids in the back, where I get some quiet time to listen to the music.

So as I was listening one night, able to hear the words for once, I heard some that caused me to realize why I disliked them enough to change the radio station when they came on. They were so self-centered! I was amazed at how selfish some of those songs were. The singers were so focused on why they were praising God, and how they were going to do it, and failed to actually praise Him!

As I listened further, I also realized that there were a good number of songs that did get around to praising God. I mean, that is what we're here for, right? There were a few really good ones too, that have been revitalizing my hope for Christian music again. I will try to start posting some of them, along with lyrics, since there really are some good ones.

5 Random Questions

Courtesy of Rocks In My Dryer, Shannon has asked 5 random questions to all of her readers.

1. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chocolate. Anything chocolate.

2. What's the most nerve-racking "close call" you've ever had?

When I fell on my driveway, on top of my baby, his carrier sideways on the ground, and managed to take the 2 year old down with me. I thought I had pretty much crushed the baby, but I managed to take the worst with a nasty scrape on my hand. The kids were fine, and the carrier had a big scuff mark from where it landed on the driveway.

3. Name five features your ultimate dream house would have.

Big kitchen, school room, sewing room, dumbwaiters, and a big swirly slide from the upstairs to the downstairs.

4. Who has been the most influential non-relative in your life?

That would be difficult to decide. There have been so many people that have influenced me, but have been part of my life for such short periods of time. I really don't know.

5. What one non-physical feature would you most like to change about yourself?

My temper. I get frustrated too easy, and sometimes take it out on those around me.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

MetroWrap Contest

5 Minutes For Mom's next 4th of July contest is for a MetroWrap by MetroMama. Go sign up for the contest!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

4th of July Contest

5 Minutes For Mom's next contest is up. This one is for a weekend getaway just for moms.

The prize this time is for one person who signs up (and a friend!), for free admission and 4 star luxury accommodation at the next Motherhood Redefined weekend event in beautiful Arizona! The prize is worth more than $1000!!!

Go sign up now!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Something To Remember

May, 1999. My husband and I had been married about a month. We were coming home from church, heading down Sheridan Road, just past where St. Catharine's Hospital used to be. We were chatting away, and not really worried about anything in particular. And then something impacted our lives that changed us forever.

I'll start at the beginning of the story as I know it. Two boys, ages 14, were riding on the sidewalk past St. Catharine's. They weren't doing anyone any harm, they were just enjoying being outside on their bikes. A man drove by in his car, and instead of passing them without so much as a glance, decided that it would be a good day to run them over. He hit the first boy, sending him flying and landing on the grass next to the road. He hit the second boy, and drug him about 15 feet down the road. The bike stayed attached longer, maybe closer to a mile. The boys were about 10 yards or so apart. I don't remember exactly.

My husband and I came upon the scene presumably moments after it had happened. There was a crowd surrounding the second boy. We stopped a little ways before getting to them, and decided to get out and help. That was when we discovered the first boy. No one had even noticed him. At first, he was not conscious. After a few moments, he woke up. We sat with him until the ambulance came, which seemed to take forever. He wanted to find his friend, and he couldn't understand why he hurt so much. He was covered in cuts and bruises, his bike tangled in his legs. I still cry when I think about it, and it was almost 10 years ago.

The man responsible, one James Langenbach, was charged with 1st Degree Intentional Homicide, Child Abuse Intentionally Causing Great Bodily Harm, and Hit and Run Involving Great Bodily Harm. All felonies, in varying degrees. 176 years in prison, last I heard. I don't know if he's managed to get an appeal of any kind.

As I was looking over the articles today, which I try to do once a year, I realized that the man who did this, was 28 at the time of the incident. I am 28 right now, and it is incomprehensible to me to even consider doing something so horrific, and all because those boys had skin that was darker than his. It just makes me ill.

This is something that I will never forget. I cannot get the images of those boys out of my head. I cannot forget the name of the man who did this to them. When my children are old enough, I will tell them. I want them to know that there are things in this world that are not right, and that it is up to them to follow God's command to love one another and to love God, so that they never do anything like this to someone else. It may not be much, but it will be enough for me to know that I have taught them love, not hate.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I am testing my MOG Lines feed. So, you don't really have to read this. Unless you want to. In which case, you're probably very bored.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Swimsuit Contest!

And no, I won't be modeling. EVER. These suits are from Land's End, and are customizable to your size, shape and modesty level. Finally. Someone gets it! Personally, I think they ought to bring these beauties back,

but this one from Land's End will do. :)

Check out 5 Minutes For Mom for more 4th of July contests!

July 4th Giveaway!

At 5 Minutes For Mom! They are doing another great contest over several days, from now until July 4th. Go check it out! The first prize is an ice cream maker, and bowls. They definitely look like fun!


Wednesday, June 20, 2007


In light of Shannon's bow-capades, I thought I'd share an additional bow pattern that is very easy, and very cute, and very frilly.

Loopy Bows

Now, go on over to Rocks In My Dryer for more great WFMW tips.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Rise And Fall Of Big Idea

I'm sure many of you have heard different parts of the story about Veggie Tales creators Big Idea. There were a number of things that brought them down, but Phil Vischer bares all here by telling his version of the story. It's a long story, but it's cut into parts so it's easier to read over time. If you are a big fan of Veggie Tales, it's worth a read.

Friday, June 15, 2007

More BabyLegs!

Hey everyone, the ladies over at BabyLegs just shared some information with me. From now until July 18th, you can use the code Celeb to get a great discount of $12 off of any order over $24. So go check it out! And who wouldn't want a pair of these cuties?


5minutesformom is hosting another contest! This time you can win a baby care products package from CVS Pharmacy and Playskool. So go check it out, and sign up for the contest!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Why We Home School 7

7. Why does any child need to be encouraged to have sex and use drugs?

6. Why subject your children to religious indoctrination?

5. Would you want your child indoctrinated without your knowledge?

4. Who wouldn't want their child courted by a college because they were homeschooled?

3. Our children are less likely to have this happen.

2. Our children won't have to witness terrible crimes like this.

1. Our children are less likely to be sexually assaulted.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Lichen Sclerosus, My Story

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one''.
C.S. Lewis

This is extremely personal, and some of this may not be appropriate for young children, but please bear with me. I have decided to start talking about a condition that I have been living with for a long time.

I will do my best to provide links to some of the more complicated parts as much as possible.

The condition that I have, that I have been living with for longer than any doctor will admit to, is a skin condition called Lichen Sclerosus et Atrophicus. That's the full Latin name for it. I and others with my condition simply call it LS. Much easier. It is a skin disorder that commonly affects girls and women, but can occasionally affect men and boys. To keep this G-rated, please follow the links for more information on what it is.

Itching is one of the most common, and most severe of the symptoms. Some of the symptoms and visual presentations can lead to questions of child abuse in young girls, which has caused countless issues for parents who only want to help their children.

As a child, I experienced frequent UTI's, a common issue in girls with LS. I recently read an article that linked constipation issues, another problem I frequently dealt with as a child.

The itching went on for a number of years, but was never bad enough for anyone to look into it to any extent, and I probably didn't think at the time that it was important enough to be mentioned. Not that it would have likely been properly diagnosed at the time, for it is still frequently misdiagnosed or ignored even now.

At age 15, I was subjected to some of the worst pain I had ever known, for my first gynecological exam. The people in the waiting room could hear my screams. The nurses just thought I was being difficult, and told me to relax. I didn't know at the time that it wasn't supposed to hurt like that. No one ever told me, and at that time, I didn't want to ask.

After that, I avoided exams like the plague. Even when I had some issues that should probably have been dealt with, the memory of the pain I had experience kept me away. After my husband and I married in 1999, and I became pregnant, the worst of it began. Dyspareunia became an issue that I was unaware of before our marriage, we believe the pregnancy may have been the trigger. My first doctor diagnosed me as "frigid", and told me to go home and relax after I complained to him several times about the intense pain I felt. He could not find anything wrong, therefore he concluded that it was all in my head. As soon as our first child was born, I found a new doctor.

The new doctor, after several visits and a few random treatments to mask the pain, decided that I had Vulvodynia, as well as Vulvar Vestibulitis. At the very least, it was a start. I was given a few more treatments, but they didn't get us very far. It was at that point that the doctor admitted there was little more he could do, and referred me to a doctor who specialized in gynecological disorders.

Upon my first visit, the doctor asked me a very long list of questions about my childhood medical history, as well as the more recent information. The questions went on for an hour, and she even talked to my husband separately. She then told me of her suspicion of Lichen Sclerosus, and explained the disorder. She wanted to do a biopsy to confirm her diagnosis, but even after the exam she was positive that she was correct. A week later the biopsy confirmed LS.

She started me on treatment immediately, and the relief was incredible. I was able to taper off the treatments after a few months, but then I had to stop when I became pregnant again. I started treatments again after the delivery, and experienced one of the fasted healing periods I had had after a delivery. By then it was child #3. Treatment continued until I became pregnant with #4, and again, I used the medications and had a very quick healing time. It was a few months after the birth of #4 that I realized that I no longer seemed to need the medication. I was doing well without treatment, and even since the birth of #5, I have not used any treatments since then.

Knowing what I do about this disease however, I realize that I could experience a flare up any day. So far that has not happened and I can only hope that it stays that way.

I have been one of the lucky ones. Other women have gone through decades of torture, trying harsh therapies that got them nowhere; losing husbands who thought their wives were "frigid" as my first doctor told me; experiencing severe scarring; and sometimes eventually cancer of the vulva. My husband did not leave me, and once the diagnosis was made, I was able to experience a remission.

I have been reluctant to speak to many people about this, because it is such a sensitive topic. It is so personal, that it just does not come up in normal conversation. I think I've only spoken with some of my closest friends, and even that has been limited.

Now, onto the biggest reason I have for speaking up now. Over the last few months, I have been noticing certain symptoms in my daughter. Unexplained itching; UTI'S; constipation, and a few other signs. I am frightened for her, but I am hopeful. If her diagnosis proves to be LS, treatment now will help her later in life. Perhaps she won't have to go through the pain and uncertainty that I went through.

If you, as a woman or a mother, think that some of these symptoms look familiar, in yourselves or your daughters, please get her checked out. If your doctor has no idea what LS is or how to diagnose it, find someone who does. Either a pediatric gynecologist or a dermatologist should have an idea of what you are talking about, but I have run across several doctors who say they know what you're talking about, and then it turns out they really have no clue. To save time and headache, call ahead and ask lots of questions, and if they brush you off, find someone else if you can.

Thank you all for reading if you've gotten this far. My goal in this is to attempt to raise awareness about this condition, and to help spare someone the stress I went through to get a diagnosis.

Here are a few more links with good information about this disorder:

I also want to thank Karen of Swank Web Style who so graciously provided a button for me. She created a very beautiful button to help raise awareness about LS. Please visit her and her colleagues at Swank Web Style and see what else they have to offer. I have liked everything I have seen by them.

Friday, June 8, 2007


These are so cute, that I just had to share. If you haven't yet seen BabyLegs, they are great. I think I have about a dozen of them, and the kids love them. BabyLegs has come out with a few new ones, that I am just drooling over.

Go check out their online shop and order some today! Every order placed this month will be entered in a drawing for an MTV Music Awards Swag Bag, so hurry up!

Nature Art

Recently, I discovered that we had an abundance of mushrooms growing in our yard. They are everywhere. Now, being ever the opportunist, I remembered a craft I did as a child, involving mushrooms and hairspray. After some extensive searching on the internet, I managed to find one that seemed familiar.

Take your little white garden variety mushroom, and remove the stem. Place it gill side down on a piece of paper, and cover it with a glass. Allow it to sit over night, and voilĂ , you have spore art! Spray the paper with a non-aerosol hairspray, to preserve the spore art. Have the kid color the pages, or just put them on the fridge as is.

Be sure to pick mushrooms with a firm, round cap, and remove the skirt if necessary to reveal the gills. This will give you the best spore art. Also, be sure to avoid poisonous mushrooms, and I wouldn't let the kids eat them, just in case.

Alternatively, you can purchase store-bought mushrooms, with the same results.

Keyboard Issues

I am hazving some eyboard issues right now Quite a few eys don't wor, or add etters on, so if my typing oos funny, or I tae a ong time to respond, it's not you, it's my eyboard

(To translate, using my handy dandy On-Screen Keyboard, I am having some keyboard issues. My zxcv keys add surrounding letters, and my jkl and period keys do nothing. All of my number keys don't work either. So, I have to keep going back and forth between the few keys that work on the keyboard, and the On-Screen Keyboard, and it is taking an annoyingly long time to get anything done. So, if you notice a few odd spelling errors, or missing letters, remember, it's not you, it's my keyboard.)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

One More Post....

This is the final post I need to sign up for MOG Lines on Moms Of Grace. Which, by the way, is a great site for Christian Moms.

Tasty Thursday: Breakfast

Oooh, I love breakfast. I don't make it often enough though. My personal favorites are egg bakes, because they are so easy to toss together, some of them the night before. Don't forget to visit the Pumpkin Patch for more Tasty Thursday recipes.

Here are my two favorites:

Overnight Egg Bake

  • 1 Dozen eggs
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 box seasoned croutons
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Crisply cooked and crumbled bacon, one package
Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Layer the croutons evenly on the bottom. Cover with the cheese. Combine the eggs, milk, salt and pepper, and beat lightly until combined. Pour over the cheese and croutons. Top with the cooked bacon, and press down lightly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place uncovered baking dish in the oven and bake for about an hour or until the eggs are cooked. Let cool slightly and serve.

Eggs and Potatoes

  • 1/2 to 3/4 of a 16 oz. package frozen shredded hashbrowns with peppers and onions
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound cooked and crumbled bacon OR (and this is how I make it) 1 package real bacon pieces, I think it's Oscar Mayer, it's a yellow package in the salad aisle.
In a large bowl whisk the eggs and milk. Add the hashbrowns, cheese, bacon, salt and pepper.
Transfer to a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 F. for 35-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Netflix, You Could Win!

Hop on over to 5 Minutes For Mom and sign up for their latest contest. You could win a 6 month subscription to Netflix. Now who wouldn't want that?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

My Sweet Baby Boy

This is my little man Aaron on Memorial Day. Such a cutie, isn't he? He just turned 1 a few days ago, too, so I am very proud of my sweetie.

Oh, and those cute little flags he's sporting on his legs? Those are BabyLegs, one of my absolute favorite Mom Created Items. They keep his little legs warm in the morning when it's still chilly, and then I can take them off a little later when it warms up.

WFMW-The Mom, I'm Bored Edition

My kids are pretty young, and I have five of them, so I don't hear this phrase too often thankfully. However, if it's been raining a lot like it has been lately, I do hear it a bit more often.

Some of the things that I have found to work for my oldest, who is 7, are these:

  • I give him a picture dictionary. This is a recent one. I had some things to finish before I could start school that day, so I looked through the education books that I have on the school shelf, and saw the dictionary. I told him to look for words he liked, and then asked him about them later on, when I had more time. Now he asks to look at it occasionally on his own.
  • I give him a Kids Cookbook, and let him pick something to try. This once resulted in the discovery that the kids liked Eggs in a Hole, although he prefers his scrambled in the hole.
For the three oldest, ranging in ages from 4-7, here are some of my ideas:

  • I like to keep a box of crayons and colored pencils and a stack of coloring books available for them to work on. I also have some Color Wonder stuff, which is awesome if you ask me. I do have to keep those things up when the youngest are awake, but there is little if any boredom when those two are up, so it works out.

Other things I have tried, are having the kids do themed coloring or activities from Enchanted Learning, which is an amazing resource for parents and home schoolers. I'm planning on joining the site before too long. I've also given them precut construction paper and told them to make some designs. They like the creativity.

Don't forget to visit Rocks In My Dryer for more great Works-For-Me-Wednesday tips.